Singapore University of Social Sciences

Film Genre: Understanding Types of Film (FLM201)


This course provides students with an overview of major film genres—categories of films such as the Western, film noir, and science fiction. Students will learn how each genre has specific features or conventions that encode meaning and generate expectations about the viewing experience. Students will also look at how genre films may challenge the parameters of their type and incorporate hybridity and reflexivity. Students will examine what genres reveal about the cultures that produce them, and assess whether genres change over time. Key films representing each genre will be studied

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, This will be administered on-campus.


  • Introduction to Film Genre
  • The Western, Action Film, and Comedy
  • Drama, Crime Film, and Film Noir
  • Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy
  • Musical, War Film, Epic, and Documentary

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the characteristics of the major film genres.
  • Show, through close reading of films, the impact that genre has in creating expectations about film.
  • Examine films that have modified the conventions or self-reflexively played with genre.
  • Analyse genre in relation to Singapore film.
  • Explain the significance of conventions in film genre and support the discussion with good evidence.
  • Demonstrate skill in writing well-structured academic essays on the importance of genre in specific films.
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